Adult Diapers and Waste

"Green" Options for Adult Diapers

I recently wrote about how it is technically feasible to compost adult diapers, although our current economic, legislative and disposal systems don’t allow for a “clean, green” way of adult diaper disposal or composting. Now I’d like to address how one simple change in your choice of adult diaper can greatly impact the landfill and reduce your incontinence-related carbon footprint.

Long-lasting adult diapers have been used in Europe successfully for some time. Unfortunately, these longer-lasting adult diapers, which go by the brand names Abena, Molicare and Secure X-Plus, among others, have barely made a dent in the US incontinence market. In fact, to purchase these long-lasting diapers, you’ll most likely have to look online; you won’t find them in your regular drugstore or grocery aisle (although some specialty pharmacies now carry limited quantities).

Fewer Diapers, Less Waste

Needless to say, I am a firm believer in the benefits of using these long-lasting products: not only are they made of superior materials, but they also allow the wearer to enjoy longer-lasting comfort without the hassle of changing them every 2–3 hours. If an incontinent person were to use a longer-lasting European-style diaper for 6â€"8 hours, he or she would save the additional two or three “regular” diapers that would have been necessary to for the same timeframe. In doing so, that person create less waste product that will eventually end up in the landfill, drastically reducing their carbon footprint.

Think of it like carpooling. Lots of people need automobiles to get to and from work, but they can limit their consumption of gasoline (and therefore their carbon footprint) by maximizing the value of their car, sharing the space with others. In terms of adult diapers, users can wear longer-lasting products that are not easily soiled, or which can allow for multiple voids without discomfort to the user. This will allow for longer-lasting comfort, less consumption overall, and ultimately, less waste.

For example, if you use three store-brand diapers, you are using three plastic sheets, twelve tape tabs (at least), six sets of Lycra strands, at least three sets of glue and three non-woven sheets (cover material). If you were to use a heavier diaper like a Secure X-Plus, an Abena X Plus or Molicare Super Plus, you would be getting the same if not better performance out of a single diaper, and you would be reducing your incontinent footprint by 66%.

Saving the Earth And Your Pocketbook

Using these long-lasting diapers will not only save precious space in the landfill, but you’ll also save money. Here is a basic example. For every three “regular” diapers, the user ends up spending almost $2.10. For every longer-lasting diaper used, the average price is near $1.50—a cost savings of at least $1.20 per day, on average.

For now, you can buy these long-lasting adult diapers online (often with free shipping) and in select brick-and-mortar pharmacies. However, for these longer-lasting products become mainstream, there must first be some cultural change in the minds of consumers and caregivers. I think we are ready for that change. Choosing longer-lasting adult diapers is one simple way that regular users of adult diapers can consume less and still get the comfort and care they need—even saving some money in the process.

Your Partner in Comfort,



Gary is an adviser to online incontinence care products provider